Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘church musician’

The Music of March

What Music Will You Play This Month?

 Favorite Repertoire? 

As I write this blog post, David and I are on a flight home from St. Louis where we had a grand time presenting  our From Sea to Shining Sea concert experience at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, where I played some of my favorite organ repertoire on a marvelous Martin Ott pipe organ.  The organ had several new additions – some of which were heard for the first time in our concert — a third manual playing a stunning 12 stop Rueckpositiv with one of the most gorgeous Cornets I’ve heard, a full-length sanctuary rumbling 32’ Bourdon, a powerful 32’ pipe/digital Bombarde, an amazingly bright and joyous Zymblestern, and a thrilling Trumpet en Chamade.  I had a grand time deciding how to use every stop on the organ somewhere in the concert.   (Martin Ott is the builder of the two organs at Mt. Angel so you have some idea of how much I enjoyed the weekend!)

What is your favorite piece?  How can you work it into a service, a concert, or your weekly practice?

Hymns? 

As we fly over the incredibly varied landscape between St. Louis and Portland – the plains, the Grand Canyon, the Sierras and up the coast, I’m reminded that March is filled with incredibly varied hymnody.  Hymnody that ranges from contemplative Lenten hymns to joyous Palm Sunday processional hymns, somber Holy Week hymns, to the glorious hymns of Easter culminating for most of us with Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.  For you church musicians, hymn practice should be at the top of your practice list this month.  Since the tunes of this month don’t often appear with other texts, the reality is we don’t play them often.

Be safe and start working on these hymns today!

New Repertoire? 

David and I are planning the World Premiere performance of our newest organ and multi-media concert experience so guess what I’ve been doing?  Looking for new repertoire to fit our theme, “Around the World in 80 Minutes.”  I’ve been talking to composers and organists from Nigeria to Australia and many many countries in between to collect organ pieces by national composers using indigenous folk tunes and hymnody.  WOW!  Has this been fun!  New music has been arriving weekly at the Jordan home.  So set a goal and discover some new repertoire to play.

March is the month for new repertoire.

It looks like a busy month ahead!  Here’s to the Music of March!
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan is teacher, church musician, and concert organist.  She and her husband, David who is a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-meida concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org to learn more about these audience-engaging concerts.

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORSHIP?

INSPIRATION: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative

I draw my inspiration to lead worship from

  • The scriptures read by carefully prepared lectorsBible
  • The insightful homily
  • The prayers of the people
  • The serenity of the meticulously followed liturgy
  • The beauty and orderliness of our sanctuary thanks to our Altar Guild
  • And from You – the congregation — by your
    • quiet reverence during the prelude
    • energetic singing of the hymns
    • enthusiasm for an interesting postlude
    • joyous expression of thanks when a particular hymn or piece of music has inspired you

CrossINSPIRE: To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion

It is my hope that the music chosen, sung, and played for our worship inspires you. Not only in the service but in the week that follows. What inspires your worship? What fills you with an enlivening or exalting emotion?

  • The text of a hymn?St. Bede organ.jpg
  • The melody of a hymn?
  • The singing of a psalm?
  • The offering of music by our choir?
  • The prelude or postlude?

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Minister of Music and Organist of St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon is also a concert organist performing the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

 

Something About Hymns

A religious song or poem in praise of God is a hymn.

A writer of hymns is a hymnist.

A collections of hymns is a hymnal or a hymnary, which may or may not include music.

The music to which a hymn may be sung is a hymn tune.

The singing of hymns is hymnody.

A student of hymnody is a hymnologist.

And, finally the scholarly study of hymns, hymnists, and hymnody is hymnology.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church musician and hymnologist, is also the creator and performer of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea, as a concert organist.

ASK for Patronage

I believe that there are many people who might not know they are patrons yet, but who would gladly and generously support your music ministry, concert series, studio, or music program.  However, I do believe patrons have one thing in common. They need to be asked for their help.

Before beginning that search and learning how to ask for patronage, though, we have to decide that what we are doing is important enough for someone to support our efforts.  We can get caught thinking “if we only had the money we could get something done here.” Okay, ask yourself, what exactly do you want to get done and how will it benefit others.  If you can carefully and creatively formulate your idea (and put a price tag on it), you might be amazed at what can happen.

Traveling throughout the country to present our organ and multi-media concerts, we have learned so much from our hosts.  The incredible stories they share with us of patronage, of people “making things happen” in their communities in the music and art world, is astounding.

Time after time it is a single person (or a very small group) who has an idea – something they know will benefit the community – who then persuades others to join them as patrons – people working together to create a powerful forward momentum to keep the arts alive.

It would be my great desire that all of us decide that what we are contributing to the arts world is important enough that we can’t let it die (because it certainly could) and we need to pay it forward into the future, for generations that don’t even know they need your art. Today’s patrons, just like Sara Levy and the Esterhazy family of the past, ensure that some of the greatest music and sounds will be available and played for people now and in the future.

With that in mind, we’d like to ask for your patronage – a gift large or small to our upcoming Hymn-a-thon Music Ministry fundraising event on June 7th.  To be a patron of the worship arts at St. Bede Episcopal Church, and help us reach our goal of $4,000, please click here to visit our gofundme site. All contributions will be matched by an anonymous patron. We thank you for your support, encouragement, and generosity.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Minister of Music and Organist, at St. Bede Episcopal Church also enjoys sharing her organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea with audiences throughout the USA and in Europe.

Hymns as Devotionals

I discovered a lot about the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal in preparation for last year’s Hymn-a-thon. Our choir spent 12 hours on Sunday, March 3, 2014 singing every hymn in our hymnal as a Music Ministry Fundraiser. Instead of singing straight through the hymnal, I decided we should sing through the hymns in various groupings just to keep things interesting for us.

Did you know that a section of the Episcopal hymnal is arranged by the church year? Check out the Contents pages of the 1982 Hymnal to locate the section titled The Church Year. As you will discover, hymn numbers 47-293 or approximately 1/3 of the hymns in the hymnal comprise this section. For those of you fascinated with the seasons of the church year as I am, you will find this section of the hymnal most enlightening.

For example, since we have now entered the season of Lent, you may find it interesting to note over the next four Sundays of Lent, how many hymns from the Lent section, hymn numbers 140-152, we will sing in our services. These hymns, along with others illuminating the scriptures of each Sunday will form the basis of our music for Lent.

The hymns of The Church Year can also be used to create lovely devotionals. The text by Claudia Frances Hernaman of hymn #142 could serve as a poignant Lenten devotional. Use a different verse each week of Lent as a mediation, or, as a daily devotional, read through these glorious stanzas to be reminded each day during Lent of the “Easter of unending joy” that is our hope and promise.

“Lord, who throughout these forty days for us didst fast and pray, teach us with thee to mourn our sins, and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend and didst the victory win, O give us strength in thee to fight, in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear and thirst, so teach us, gracious Lord, to die to self, and chiefly live by thy most holy word.
An through these days of penitence, and through thy Passiontide, yea, evermore, in life and death, Jesus! with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life of suffering overpast, an Easter of undending joy we may attain at last!”

Take time to look for the rich blessings in this magnificent book, our 1982 Hymnal.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is the Organist and Minister of Music at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon. She and her husband, David, are also the creators and presenters of two organ and multi-media concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea and Bach and Sons.

The Church, The Music, The Service, The Organ – Making Them One With Integrity

The definition of integrity includes three words: wholeness, unity, and honesty. As a musician who has participated in church music for most of her life, reflecting on these words has been illuminating.

As a child, I sang in church choirs and when I had developed sufficient piano skills, I played for Sunday school and other church gatherings. Participating in church music was one part of my wholeness as a child. It was part of the whole person I was becoming.

For my family, the church was a unifying force in our lives. Sunday services, Sunday school, Bible studies, boards and committees, and choir participation meant regular attendance and participation. The church was a place to express our faith through service and music. It was a place where we as a family unit joyfully, for the most part, participated together in weekly worship and church gatherings.

There was an honesty to our family church participation. It completed our lives and gave fullness to them. Church participation was not questioned, as it was the norm. I never knew anything different. Participating in church music was the unifying force and that which completed or made whole the church experience. The music of the church gave integrity to worship and God’s word.

As a teenager, I became involved in church music in a different way. I was no longer the child participating in junior choirs, playing the piano for Sunday school and learning the act of worship, I was now a worship leader. There was now responsibility-a responsibility that demanded integrity. I do not remember that I had a formal job description in my first years as a paid church musician, but I do know that my organ teacher, whose position I filled when she moved from the town, instilled in me the integrity for church work that stays with me to this day. To fulfill the role of a church organist, an organist must be prepared before she can “play” a church service.

Let us examine a typical job description for a church organist from the point of view of serving in church music with integrity. Most job descriptions for a church organist begin with the imperative:
“The church organist will play for all Sunday worship services throughout the year.”

What exactly is meant by the word “play”? The “playing” of a worship service is the visible result of years of invisible work of organ study requiring thousands if not tens of thousands hours of practice. The “playing” of a particular worship service is the one hour where weeks if not months of worship planning and preparation with the pastor, worship committee, choir director, soloists, and cantors is experienced by a group of people. A group of people that see only that hour with you on the organ bench “playing” the service.

“Playing” a service with integrity means being prepared. It means putting years of practice and study into use. It means finding music appropriate to the season, the scriptures, and the pastor’s message. It means learning that music including the hymns and service music. It means rehearsing with choirs, soloists and cantors. It means putting together the music so the service proceeds smoothly and seamlessly.

Creating wholeness and unity through careful honest preparation is the way of those who serve with integrity in the church as an organist.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is the Organist and Director of Music at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon.  She is also a concert organist who performs the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea throughout the US and Europe.

What’s In a Hymn Tune Title?

The hymn tune TON-Y-BOTEL (tune in a bottle) also known as EBENEZER is a Welsh tune that first appeared in hymnals in 1890. Often a composer will choose a hymn tune name based on a scriptural reference in the case of EBENEZER. The tune name TON-Y-BOTEL came from a legend about the tune being picked up by a peasant on the coast of the Lleyn Peninsula in a sealed bottle which washed ashore. The title ST. PETERSBURG was probably chosen by the composer Bortnianski because that is the city in which he resided at the time he composed the melody.

You can find a list of the Tune Names included in our 1982 Hymnal on page 1045. You may find more than one page number listed with some titles which means several different texts can be sung to this tune. (Example: TON-Y-BOTEL, pages 381 and 527).

A wonderfully complete website to discover more about hymn tunes and their composers and texts and their writers, is www.hymnary.com. Enjoy!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Church and Concert Organist

 

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